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martin ganstens book - annual predictive techniques
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me see if I can answer all of that. Smile

Yes, correcting the moon's position for parallax is the same as plotting it from the actual place of observation, which is what topocentric position means.

Origins of the terms: Ptolemy mentions three systems, but there were several others floating around the ancient world, including India (where they were called triṃśāṃśa). The Egyptian terms seem to be the one closest to the fragmentary Babylonian evidence for the terms. John Steele's 2015 article 'A Late Babylonian Compendium of Calendrical and Stellar Astrology' (Journal of Cuneiform Studies 67, pp. 187-215) is the most recent source I know of for the latter. I don't think anyone has been able to demonstrate a clear rationale for the lengths and rulerships of the terms (which is probably the reason several authors, including Ptolemy, came up with their own variants), although you can see some general tendencies. Steele suggests they were used as divisions both of the zodiac and of the calendar, but that doesn't help in explaining their order or extensions.

Your metaphor of putting everything in a blender is sadly accurate for a lot of modern astrology. Very Happy I have tried to avoid that by using a hierarchical approach, following ancient and medieval authors. Subjectivity can never be completely eliminated, but one can strive for some order! I know you are a musician, so think of reading a chart as playing a piece of music: every performer will give his or her unique interpretation, but playing the notes in their proper order is preferable.

Yes, directions come first and activate both the ruler of the terms (the divisor) and any planet/aspect encountered (promissors). Planets present in or aspecting the terms in the revolution are important too. Annual profections, which determine the ruler of the year, come next. And yes, the one significator I always look at is the ascendant. Depending on what I am looking for, the luminaries and midheaven may be equally important, especially if one of the luminaries is clearly the hyleg (this can be a murky area). Very occasionally I will use a non-luminary planet as a significator (usually in the context of longevity).

Divisors, promissors and the ruler of the year are all chronocrators or 'time lords', and the nub of prediction is understanding how they express themselves in the natal chart as well as the revolution. The houses they occupy are part of that.

Yes, armillaries necessarily show tropical divisions, or you would need a separate sliding measure to show the first point of Aries moving relative to the equinox point. I suppose it could be done, but you don't really need a three-dimensional tool for a simple subtraction. Wink
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pankajdubey



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Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This classic British comedy showing how all notes were played but the music was still different.
https://youtu.be/R7GeKLE0x3s
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james_m



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Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks martin!

i was busy reading to the end of your book and also looking at ben dykes most recent translation of abu ma'shar - on the revolution of the years of the nativities which dovetails in interesting ways with your book.... first off, i have to congratulate you on a really great book! the fact you provided numerous examples to back up your particular hierarchical order is very clear, orderly and instructive!

i think so much of astrology from the point of view of the individual astrologer is seeing what does or doesn't work.... regarding modern astrology putting things in a blender and seeing what comes out - i am not sure i was describe morin this way, although he was known for using relocated solar return charts, just as one ''more modern'' example of having to grapple with yet another consideration... it is clearly the same issue with converse directions... once they are incorporated, there are a whole other set of terms and considerations that complicate the process.. it is not to say that converse directions don't work, but any approach that has less options to choose from, is an easier one as i see it.. the same is with the choice of zodiac verses mundane directions... obviously it would be easier to only lean on one of these options, as opposed to having to consider both..

yes, i am a musician..the parallels with astrology and music can be made in countless ways! peoples musical tastes can be far apart from one another which is not to say that one type of music is better or worse then another - just different.. the guidelines in music can be very specific - reading a chart - or very broad - improvising off a chart with a more general road map... this could be described as the difference between classical music and contemporary jazz music (see Esbjörn Svensson Trio for an example of the later)..i think this is how astrology is too... i see the system you are working within as more classical in nature... i think your book is quite good and laid out very well.. if a person wanted to explore many of the topics described in ben dykes book, they would do well to consider getting a copy of your book, as it is a hands on book, as opposed to an only mostly theoretical or historical one..

i personally find the important emphasis on terms or bounds challenging at this point.. this is mostly because i haven't worked with them any.. reading your book was challenging for me on this account as so much importance was given to them as i read it.. and i find terms or bounds as arbitrary as the dasas used in indian astrology.. this is not to say that either of these systems don't work.. obviously they do, as many astrologers use them.. i think the second most challenging part of the approach you've taken is not including converse directions or zodiac and mundane directions on an equal footing... i believe i understand the rationale how this is also being true to an older system used in the deep past ( classical), but the bit of insight i got from taking a look at them in the example of chart J, leads me to believe they are more important or central then you let on in the book! for the sake of brevity, it was probably a smart move on your part and one that would be a lot less time consuming, to make these choices.. and it is in keeping with how you convey they were done historically up to a certain point in time..

if you ever get the book published again, i have one small suggestion... on the appendix 4 in the back with the data for the charts, it would be helpful for some - i know for myself, if the location as opposed to the longitude and latitude coordinates were given. i can find the names of the location with some work however, so it is not a very big deal.. also with this to provide the page number for where all these charts are would've been helpful specifically for a person reading chapter 9 where you sometimes do or don't reference the page number of the chart you are discussing and to find it one has to sleuth back to see it.. as a consequence i put the page numbers of the charts next to the data on that appendix page i refer to for my own ease of considering all your work with the examples easier to follow..

thanks again martin! i think it is a great book that would be of benefit to all astrologers interested in this topic given the many first hand examples you have given.. and given that you have clearly laid out your approach that is easy to follow and understand too... i highly recommend your book! although i have finished reading it, i plan on examining the charts more closely as it is really a first hand opportunity to consider your hierarchical system to see how it could be fine tuned to my own tastes and personal observations - both with the examples in your book, but in my own life!
cheers james
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james_m



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Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

martin,

i am having trouble replicating your observations on example E in the book - pages 132 and 133.. you mention moon to the opposition of mars with latitude, and mars to the opposition of saturn with latitude.... the first one i can get on the speculum.. the 2nd one i am unable to get... i can see that mars is essentially opposite natal saturn at 6 sag 13 for august of 1994, but for some reason this doesn't show up in the speculum...

what it means is that if i know what to look for and i work hard enough, i can find it, but there must be a better way for me to approach picking up these directions - the speculum being the most obvious way - but it seems prone to errors, or lack of details... here is the speculum for age 25-50...

btw - just looking closer the moon to opposition of mars is a mundane direction.. the zodiac direction doesn't happen until 3 years later... how do you personally decide which one to follow?? thanks james

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james_m



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Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

for anyone following this, this is about pages 132 and 133 in martins book..

following thru with example E... i am trying to work this out more... here is a biwheel with example E on the inside and the directions on the outside... this is for 1996 - may 1st so gives a basic idea of what is connecting with what... i am still baffled about the terminology- but on this biwheel it seems to me moon to the opposition of mars works... mars to the opposition of saturn looks more like saturn to the opposition of mars here... however - again - this doesn't show up in the speculum.. i can only get this via looking at the biwheel and punching in a particular date - 1996 may 1st in this example....



a few other comments.. i suppose because this picture above is of terrestrial as opposed to celestial - in the inside chart it appears moon and saturn are in a square in the natal chart which in a typical chart as seen below - they appear more like they are in a trine to one another.. it looks to me in the chart above that mars has moved to be opposite moon, while mars has also moved to be square saturn in this year 1996.. they appear brought together at the same time for this time frame.. but again - i don't see this in the speculum and i am wondering why that is... any help or feedback appreciated.. thanks..

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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In order for Mars to show up as a significator in the speculum, you need to select it as a significator under Options > Primary directions.

When you are using a significator that itself has latitude (that is, any planet other than the sun) and want to see its conjunctions/oppositions with other planets with latitude, Morinus gives you two options, neither of them perfect:

1. Under Zodiacal > Use latitude of, choose Both and Bianchini. The drawback of this is that latitude will be assigned to trines and sextiles as well, which in my experience does not give correct results.

2. Under Mundane vs. Zodiacal, choose Both. This will produce a list that includes mundane sextiles, squares and trines, but you can disregard those and just look for mundane conjunctions and oppositions. This is what I do.

I have tried my best to explain my take on latitude on pp. 68-70. As for the PD charts, I rarely use them myself, but generally speaking some distortion is unavoidable when you try to represent three-dimensional relations in two dimensions (the same is true of maps of the world, etc).
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james_m



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Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

okay.. thanks martin.. i will play around with the options.. following your setting instructions on page 207 - i had selected mars as a significator, but i now understand that is not enough.. i will read over the section on latitude again too.. thanks..
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Petr



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Posted: Fri Jan 29, 2021 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Martin, a very nice, practical and inspiring book. I bought it for myself as a Christmas present. I have argued for several years that Egyptian terms function correctly only in the sideric zodiac. That's why I'm glad you feel the same way.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Fri Jan 29, 2021 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm very glad to hear it, Petr. Thanks for your kind words!
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Graham F



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Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Martin
Many thanks for this excellent book, which I'm finding quite an inspiration. It has helped clarify a few things which weren't quite clear to me from your book on primary directions (though I only have the first edition of this).
Your clarification of "right" and "left" aspects (p.21) really helped, dexter being an aspect sent in zodiacal order, and considered stronger, as in Indian astrology, than an antizodiacal left/sinister one. This makes sense to me, but is the opposite of what I had understood from other reading about traditional Western astrology, such as the article by Deborah Houlding here on Skyscript, "The Classical origin and traditional use of aspects":
Quote:
If planet is placed in Aries, its square to a planet in Capricorn is called a dexter aspect ('dexter' meaning of the right) and its square to a planet in Cancer is called sinister (of the left). The interpretation of these terms is again linked to Pythagorean philosophy and rests upon the way that the signs view each other. Their sight is said to follow the daily movement of heaven so that dexter describes a natural, forward view, while sinister describes a stained, backward view.

I've since found that Chris Brennan defines left and right as you do, in his book Hellenistic Astrology pp. 309-311, with helpful examples. In Delphic Oracle 8, lists of primaries (e.g. aspects of planet promissors to Ascendant as significator), use the same terminology as Houlding: dexter for those coming from beyond (below) the Asc, cast in antizodiacal order, sinister for v.v. (once you know to reverse the meanings, it's helpful that this information is included in the tables).

How do you find retrograde planets' aspects should be interpreted in directions? The most common consensus in Indian astro (in general, not specifically directions) seems to be that they send aspects forward, just like direct planets, but some say they are weaker, some say stronger, and many say more negative or less beneficial. I think Western traditional has this same idea of possible delay or blockage, but hard to find a consensus.

For primaries, you recommend using latitude only for a significator (if moon or planet), but I've read that promised events often occur between the two dates of the "hits" by the promissor with and without latitude. I've noticed this seems to work quite well retrospectively, and helps narrow down an appropriate bound-lord period. Do you have a view on this?

A resource which I found useful for starting to use primaries, which recommends and draws largely on your book on PDs, is an article/ tutorial on Seven stars astrology, which suggests starting by generating a report for circumambulation to Asc and aspects of planets, sun and moon to Asc, so you can see how those could maybe work with the bound lord in its period. The writer proposes a Morinus set-up identical to the one you propose to start, but with secondary motion of moon ("3.iteration", I've no idea what the 3 iterations are), which you say works less well for you. I think I find Naibod's key better than Ptolemy's, so will stick with that for now. The link:
https://sevenstarsastrology.com/astrological-predictive-techniques-primary-directions-1-ascensions-bounds/

Anyway, many thanks for book and your help here on the forum. I also found your article "Balbillus and the method of aphesis", (PDF easy to find on the net), very helpful. According to an option in DO, Balbillus sometimes used the "ideal" Egyptian year of 360 days for certain time lord procedures - do you know if there is any suggestion this may have been used for primaries (as it still is sometimes in India for dasha)?

Graham
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your words of appreciation, Graham. The dexter/sinister matter can be confusing. When a planet in Aries casts an aspect into Capricorn, that aspect does go towards the right, so it is a dexter or right-hand aspect; but it is the planet (if any) at the dexter end of the aspect, that is, in Capricorn, that is considered stronger.

I haven't thought about retrograde planets sending aspects in a different way than direct ones. Generally speaking, though, I find that retrogression is a drawback for a planet's significations, not a strength.

Quote:
For primaries, you recommend using latitude only for a significator (if moon or planet), but I've read that promised events often occur between the two dates of the "hits" by the promissor with and without latitude. I've noticed this seems to work quite well retrospectively, and helps narrow down an appropriate bound-lord period. Do you have a view on this?

Yes, I know where that came from. Wink No, I don't find assigning latitude to aspect points (sextiles, squares, and trines) to be helpful. Profections, on the other hand, can be very useful in narrowing down a prediction, as both Ptolemy and medieval practice suggest. And, of course, the (sidereal) revolution chart.

On the 360-day year, no, I am not aware of any practice exactly like that. But I do think it possible that at least some authors (in India and elsewhere) have been misunderstood. From working on Balabhadra's text (here), I know that he and others often used a 360-day year in calculations because it is so much easier when you have to calculate things by hand; but in the final stage they converted those figures to actual solar years (which, incidentally, are what Ptolemy says should be used for directions). Balabhadra talks of a 'solar day' as the time it takes the sun to travel one degree in the zodiac, and gives a formula for converting that to a civil or calendar day. If you are interested, just search for 'solar day' in the PDF of The Jewel.
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Graham F



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Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Martin

I've been experimenting with your recommended settings and others, and thinking about points from your book, and a few questions have emerged.

First, I've found that Morinus doesn't seem to be able to deal with equal house cusps (actually, I use Vehlow/Raman, "equal medium" (promoted by number of French astrologers mid C20th, and "Gauquelin compatible"), but that's not offered, and the equal cusp is the same). It doesn't give the option in primaries of using the nonagesimal as the 10th cusp, only the MC, but if I enter the longitude of the nonagesimal as a User-defined significator, or another equal cusp as a User significator, it comes up with wildly different dates from the supposed "hits" on the house cusps. So I think the equal cusps are wrongly calculated in PDs, but just the nonagesimal would do me. Do you think it's using some special way of defining User longitude? (I've tried defining User point in ecliptic longitude or RA, counted from 0° Aries, zodiacally, as usual).

I wondered also if you chose Alcabitius simply because it works better for you, or if you think there is something wrong with using equal divisions (except for calculating semi-arc directions, of course)? You say that astrologers started to get things wrong after about the 5th century, but Alcabitius is C10th, so I suppose there must be another reason.

The question of lunar parallax also makes me think, as I'd given up on it after trying it out mostly with Indian sidereal methods. I can't say I've noticed any difference in accuracy with primaries one way or the other, but what bothers me is it seems a bit contradictory with your view of latitude of promissors. Isn't parallax a bit like using "non-Bianchini" latitude for promissors? Looking at Joseph Ratzinger's chart (given in your book on PDs), I've noticed that if you rectify to get the moon rising you get 48' less with parallax, and when it's setitng, 18' less (so both positive, unlike Bianchini, and also different values). So what happens when the Moon is conjunct or opposing another planet? This seems different than the reasons you postulate to explain the use of Bianchini (Mundo) latitudes in these cases, and the principal that aspects have to go "via" the centre of the earth. (If I understand it correctly, parallax posits a local visual horizon above or below, and parallel to, the "rational" one which goes throuhgh the earth's centre.

Finally, you said you thought looking at the time between "hits" with and without latitude (from Regulus, if I remember rightly...) was not useful (you recommend sticking with profections to fine-tune circulambulations). I noticed that the cases I was referring to involved conjunctions or oppostions, for which you exceptionnally use Bianchini latitudes (i.e. mundi opp/conj). Does this mean that for conjunctions and oppositions, unlike for other aspects, you consider "no latitude for promissor" to be wrong, or just less useful?

Thanks for any help!
Graham
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Graham,

I went into the question of latitude with James earlier in this thread, and discuss it fairly extensively on pp. 68–70 in the book, so may I suggest that you read those pages first and then let me know if something isn’t clear? The short version is that I treat conjunctions and oppositions without latitude as aspect points, whereas the ones with latitude are more like co-risings (paranatellonta), and typically more powerful.

I don’t think I ever said that astrologers started to get things wrong after the 5th century – which, as it happens, is probably the approximate date of the earliest evidence of the so-called Alcabitius house system. (It is named today after al-Qabīṣī, but he didn’t invent it.) But yes, I do use the system because I have found it reliable in practice. It is generally very close to the so-called Porphyry system, which is even older (and wasn’t invented by Porphyry).

I believe you are mixing apples and oranges in comparing the question of parallax correction to that of assigning latitude to aspect points. On principle, I think the whole chart should be calculated for the actual place of birth (or of an event, a question, etc.); but in practice it only makes a real difference with regard to the moon. Casting the chart for the birth place should be the default option; using the centre of the earth is a convenient concession to simplify calculation, not a philosophical principle.

I use the traditional version of Morinus, which doesn’t include intermediate house cusps among the significators, but my guess would be that the versions that do define those cusps according to the method of direction chosen, not according to your house system of choice. In Morinus, that would basically leave you with the choice between Placidus, Regiomontanus and Campanus cusps. The user-defined promissor/significator function works fine, though (you need to enter the tropical longitude and, if desired, latitude).
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james_m



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Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

graham,

wouldn't you get the results of the nonagesimal via the squares directed to the ascendent axis?? that is probably too simple so i am wrong to think this..
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Graham F



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Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Martin

I think I had understood your point of view on latitudes, and the topocentric principle, from those pages, and it makes sense to me. it was just that using Bianchini/mundo latitudes for oppositions, if I understand it right, means that longitude and latitude are both in opposition - so to make an opposition, as well as the same longitude, you need opposite (south <> north) latitude as well. This makes the aspects go via the centre of the earth, just as when there's no latitude and geocentric positions. Whereas an opposition between planets both having e.g. northern latitude, would not.

I thought my orange was at least analogous to my apple, as I was trying to visualise whether parallax (when Moon is promissor) does something more like the first or the second case. But as the Moon is not going to reach an opposition to itself, I suppose this is not important. And if the Moon is defined with parallax when it's, say, near the asc/dsc in radix, I suppose it doesn't matter if a directed position nearer the MC/IC axis would, if it were the Moon's body progressing, have a different parallax : just as you prefer to use the Moon without secondary motion, it's more like the place the Moon has "marked" in the sky that gets directed, not the Moon itself, so "incremental parallax" in directions would not be relevant. I hope I've understood that right, but whatever...

Still, I'll have to think about the idea of zodiacal aspects bypassing the centre of the earth, I thought even the ascendant was defined by the plane of the rational horizon which goes through the centre of the earth - to which we are each and always connected. I'll mull it over, and find where I got this aspect doctrine from (a French book on Cosmographie for astrologers, I think).

I have indeed been using modern Morinus, as I thought I needed a Python installation to install Traditional, but have found I don't, so that's now done. I was already using tropical options and positions of the User point - except for the sidereal bounds, of course, I find tropical is safer and less prone to bug in programs in general.

James, yes, I wondered if the equal 4th/10th cusps would show up same as squares (or other multiples of 30° aspects, for the other houses) to the Asc/Dsc. But this isn't the case. I think the User point option is working correctly as Martin says, because if I advance the chart till the Sun is on the 4th or 10th equal cusp, then define that longitude as the User point, a promissor without latitude will be conjunct Sun and User point on same day, but usually some years from a square with Asc or Dsc. It must all depend on variable rising times.

BTW, intermediate house cusps are also an option in the version of Traditional that I downloaded, but they must be quadrant cusps as per the method of direction chosen, as Martin says.

Graham
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